Monday, 28 February 2011

A large glass of schadenfreude or just small beer?

Okay, yes, it was joyous and it was hilarious.

When Martins celebrated, I told my family to shift the coffee table as I was about to try something similar. (It ended up as a quite lame and ultimately debilitating forward roll)

So, rest assured, I was as happy as you and I'm as shallow as you. Like Spurs fan and Word magazine founder David Hepworth tweeted yesterday: "The great thing about sport is that it's a legitimate outlet for your least worthy feelings."

A day later, with some time to reflect, what's most interesting perhaps is that Arsenal/Arsene took a strategic and, I think, very sensible decision to win the Carling Cup this year – and it backfired.

After dismissing the League Cup as a distraction, the thing about having not won anything finally became an even bigger distraction, so he decided to just win the fucking thing; reset the clock to zero and shut everyone up.

As Arsenal's leading blogger put it on the morning of the game: "It really does feel like a monkey on our backs. Today, we need to shake off that monkey, kick him squarely in the bollocks and say ‘Fuck off monkey, you little cunt'."

Trouble is, the monkey's now a bloody great gorilla.

It's like one of the biggest, coolest kids in school getting into a series of scraps with some other proper hard bastards, battling it out to be king of the playground, landing some fucking big shots, but always just being out-pointed on the final decision.

And so people start to doubt that they're much of a fighter at all. They always seem to be losing. Never mind that they lose real dust-ups against heavyweight opposition, they're still losing. Their reputation is waning, their aura is fading.

So they snap. They've had enough of all this chirping about them being bottle jobs. And they decide to just fucking twat the weediest little gimp in school; to prove a point and stop all the sniping. Only they fuck it up. They get caught with a sucker punch and hit the deck. And now they're a laughing stock.


1) They could still win the treble. They probably won't. They're 80-1 at William Hill. But they could. And we won't, because we can't. They're still better than us, is the point, essentially.

2) A lot of Spurs/football in general's glee involves pointing out the disparity between Arsenal (as a club and a group of fans) dismissing the League Cup as Mickey Mouse and then being so dejected at losing the final.

This isn't much of an issue for me. The fact that they didn't take it seriously in the last few years can't be denied or decried. And it's tiresome media nonsense to get haughty about 'not treating the trophy with the respect it deserves' etc.

They took a view based on their status and their ambitions weighed against the cachet of the competition. And their conclusion was, 'Nah, fuck it'.

Then they changed their minds, for the previously outlined and perfectly understandable reasons. And they still lost. It happens.

3) And actually, I know quite a few Arsenal fans that resolutely didn't change their minds. They haven't seen the League Cup as important for about a decade and they didn't see it as important yesterday. They'd rather have won than lost, but that's about it. To them, the Carling Cup remains very small beer.

4) See 1). It's the main point, really. They could still win the treble. Yesterday wasn't a big part of their season. It was maybe important for 'historical' reasons, reasons of Arsenal's own making, almost. But not in terms of their agenda for this season. This season could, in fact, still be their best ever.


  1. They could indeed. And yesterday's postponed fixture could give us a part in it. Doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

  2. Just the third time clinching the title at White Hart Lane? Yeah, not ideal.

    Thanks for reading, by the way. Word is /such/ a great mag, and a damn fine podcast to boot.

    Hope you enjoyed the Daughter + Spurs = Heartbreak post as well.